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the church, or popish system
or popish system itself. But the effect it produces, in not leading them to reflection and repentance, but rousing their languid zeal to greater vigour in the repetition of their idolatrous blasphemies, is a proof how deep the papal cancer must have struck its roots, since they are still not to be drawn out even after the head and principal limbs have
sufferings by these multiplied and successive judgments of almost every description. They shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God, and look upward,” -(to idols, but not to Jesus Christ himself). Isai. viii. 21. “ DIODORUS speaketh of hailstones which weighed a pound and more ; PHILOSTORGIUS mentions hail that weighed eight pounds; but these are about the weight of a talent, or about an hundred pounds, a strong figure to denote the greatness and severity of these judgments.”
Newton, vol. iii. p. 284.
The church of Rome clearly pointed out by St John
as the object of the foregoing prophecies.-Exbibited as an adulteress, sorceress, and mur, deress.-Wonderful coincidence of existing facts with this description.--Hymns to Mahuzzim.St John's hieroglyphic explained by circumstances of locality which the catholic writers themselves admit,
AFTER this account of the pouring out of the seven vials of the wrath of God, upon the kingdom of the antichristian tyrant, by the effect of which (in several successive stages of decline and fa!l,) its entire ruin and extirpation is to be accomplished; the prophet proceeds in chap. xvii. to give a complete view, in the same figurative stile, of the apostate church, supposed to be taken when she was at the utmost height of her imperious domin
ion over the christian world. And in the xviii. chap. several additional particulars are given of her FALL and JUDGMENT, taken from the ancient prophets. This seems designed both to shew that their prophecies bad a further scope, and another object in view, far beyond that to which in the first sense they were apparently addressed ; and likewise to give so many and so strong marks of discrimination and character, that it should be next to impossible to mistake in the applican tion of the prophecy. The MYSTAGOGUE. upon this occasion, is one of the angels which bad the seven vials, which denotes, that if the CHURCH OF ROME was so well known befure, as to be accused by many even of her own communion, of antichristianism and excessive corruption, the event of the reformation, and the judgments which followed, (at first in slow, but afterwards in quicker succession,) will be to our times such a mystagogue, and will make it notorious to all the world that she is in truth the subject of these prophecies
And he said, “ come hither, and I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore, that sittetb upon many waters : with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabiters of the carth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.* And I saw a woman sit upon A scarlet coloured BEAST† full of names of
* The earth, in the stile of prophecy, does not mean the whole globe, but that country or empire only which is the particular subject of the prophecy. Here it means the roman empire, or such part of it where the religion and jurisdiction of the pope was acknowledged. The decree of Augustus, that all the world should be taxed, (Luke ii. 1,) is of the same import jaand the destruction of the earth, (in Isai. xxiv. 17,) has the same extent and meaning.-See Sect. xxii. p. 86,
+ This description of the corrupt church, agrees with my idea of the two Beasts and their IMAGE, in Sect. xix. p. 28, allowing for that variety in the choice of emblems to express the same thing, so frequent in prophecy. The beast with seven þeads and ten horns is the same as the FIRST BEAST, or antichristian empire of Rome, which succeeded the dragon, or onginal pagan empire. (Rev. xiii. 4.) The woman which rides upon him, is the antichristian church hierarchy, and answers to the SECOND BEAST. This description being more general, and giving an idea of the corruption of the church at large, has nothing to correspond to the IMAGE of the beast, or the PAPACY, by Daniel called the LITTLE HORN, or the eleventh. It is here
blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, * full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” The apostate church is represented under the usual emblem of a woman, as the primitive church had also been in chap, xii. but as the attire and ornaments of the latter were emblematical of the truth and purity of the gospel, that of the woman here exhibited to view is expressive also of her character and profession, of an harlot and
The true church and witnesses of Christ are always represented as being clothed in fine linen, white and clean,t the
included in the general description of the apostate church. The ten borns are mentioned, but not the eleventh. His actions are here ascribed to the corrupt church itself.
* Jeremiah li. 7.
# The frequency with which this emblem of the inward truth and purity of doctrine and manners in the true church occurs in scripture, might seem to be a sufficient apology for the church of England retaining the use of the surplice in her religious services, notwithstanding the abhorrence the dissenters express against it as a "RAG OF POPERY;" It is made